Isl-1 is essential for the survival and ensuing differentiation of pancreatic endocrine progenitors. Isl-1 remains expressed in all adult pancreatic endocrine lineages; however, its specific function in the postnatal pancreas is unclear. Here we determine whether Isl-1 plays a distinct role in the postnatal β-cell by performing physiological and morphometric analyses of a tamoxifen-inducible, β-cell-specific Isl-1 loss of function mouse: Isl-1L/L; Pdx1-CreERTm. Ablating Isl-1 in postnatal β-cells reduced glucose tolerance without significantly reducing β-cell mass or increasing β-cell apoptosis. Rather, islets from Isl-1L/L; Pdx1-CreERTm mice showed impaired insulin secretion. To identify direct targets of Isl-1, we integrated high-throughput gene expression and Isl-1 chromatin occupancy using islets from Isl-1L/L; Pdx1-CreERTm mice and βTC3 insulinoma cells, respectively. Ablating Isl-1 significantly affected the β-cell transcriptome, including known targets Insulin and MafA as well as novel targets Pdx1 and Slc2a2. Using ChIP-Seq and luciferase reporter assays we found that Isl-1 directly occupies functional regulatory elements of Pdx1 and Slc2a2. Thus, Isl-1 is essential for postnatal β-cell function, directly regulates Pdx1 and Slc2a2, and has a mature β-cell cistrome distinct from that of pancreatic endocrine progenitors.
- Received January 17, 2014.
- Accepted July 10, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.